Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Oscars Place Brands on Center Stage

Christopher Johnson, CEO of Branding Firm Whitehorn Group, Shares His Opinion on Why the Oscars May Soon Rival the Super Bowl

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - March 06, 2014) - The Oscars 2014 was memorable given that it clocked 43.7 million viewers, according to ratings from The Nielsen Company. That means that the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted show had the biggest audience of any Academy Awards since the year 2000. Only, the NFL playoff games have been known to attract such a large number of viewers in a single day. Some analysts claim that the huge audience tuned in for the show because of Ellen's dynamic personality. Christopher Johnson, CEO of branding company Whitehorn Group in New York says, "What has become abundantly clear is that in recent years, the Academy Awards are becoming increasingly desirable as a marketing platform for major brands -- perhaps even rivaling the Super Bowl, but with an innovative edge that is less about advertising alone. Intentional or not, Ellen DeGeneres' celeb-studded selfie has become an instant milestone social media moment, and an invaluable Samsung brand moment too."

As Johnson aptly pointed out, if you looked closely at Ellen's selfie moment, you may have noticed that a Samsung Galaxy phone -- and very importantly, not an iPhone -- shot the world's most retweeted photo. Maybe Ellen's own impeccable timing and comedic brilliance spontaneously created that watershed media moment, or just as likely, it was just a brilliantly pre-planned. After all, Samsung was the commercial sponsor of the Academy Awards. Johnson continues, "Truthfully, it doesn't matter if the moment was pre-planned or not because the result was natural and seamless co-branding involving a celebrity, a giant smartphone manufacturer and a respected annual awards event. No longer impossible in today's fast-paced media world."

This forever famous moment certainly helped the company gain more ground in the Apple dominated U.S market. The company's phones, tablets and TVs were also used to make a digital photo display in the backstage of the green room. The selfie stunt will remain legendary since it managed to crash Twitter for over 20 minutes. According to the social media network, 14.7 million tweets mentioning the Oscars or famous stars were sent out and Ellen's tweet was retweeted 2.8 million times so far. Apart from DeGeneres and Cooper, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie appeared in the photo's frame.

Pepsi also took advantage of the massive viewership by taking exclusive soft-drink sponsorship of the Oscars this year from Coca-Cola. Johnson says, "Not everything will go as planned, especially on live TV, so it's obvious why PepsiCo may not have enjoyed the appearance of Coke with the pizza Ellen ordered from Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria." Thirty minutes after the pizza delivery, Pepsi ran a commercial for Pepsi in mini-cans. The Pepsi commercial performed well in post-broadcast analyses of ad performance by companies like TiVo and Poptip.

Johnson says, "While the clear brand victories were more non-traditional in nature, brands also delivered commercial moments that are memorable too. This is interesting. For the first time it appears that the Super Bowl may not be the only game in town for creating marketing history."

There were three commercials featuring Tina Fey that promoted a new Amex EveryDay credit card. Johnson comments, "The ads stood out because they were filmed in clear black and white. Tina Fey is always a winner in any context."

Johnson says, "J.C. Penney is on a fresh new track and the marketing hit the spot. They ran an ad that seemed to finally reach out to its traditional shoppers during the show." The garments featured in the ad were worn by a variety of models including older full figure women. The century old department-store chain also unveiled a new logo during the show. Johnson concludes, "Now investors will keep their fingers crossed, and time will tell."

Famous fashion brands always catch the spotlight at the Oscars because many world-class designers go to great lengths to dress the celebrities who attend. For instance, rising star Lupita Nyongo continued her stylish winning streak in a fully custom Prada gown and Charlize Theron walked the red carpet in her figure hugging black Dior. Johnson says, "These two stars were among the handful of celebrities that stole the night with their glamorous style featuring the top fashion house brands." It's true that dress watching has now become as important as the awards themselves.

Johnson points out, "Apart from the hijinks and the ads, the other significant development at this year's Oscars was the exceptional and transparent manner in which Hollywood took on social causes." Sunday evening touched upon gay rights many times this year, with Jared Leto winning the best supporting actor for portraying a transgender AIDS patient in "Dallas Buyers Club." The actor's acceptance speech supported the LGBT community with appreciation and dignity. Ellen DeGeneres, who is famously out, was also chosen as the host for the Oscars this year. Johnson says, "Most say that in order to give the people what they want, Hollywood is more of a follower and rarely sets the tone on political or social issues. Fine, that makes sense, so it is nice to see the Oscars kept pace."

Disney found success this year at the Oscars with their latest and highly popular animated princess movie "Frozen." The film's success was a pat on the back for Disney executives who have experienced numerous challenges from the transition to computer-aided filmmaking. For a long time Disney stuck to its traditional story themes while its rivals like Pixar were winning the Academy Awards for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences year after year. Johnson says, "With "Frozen," Disney is clearly back in the lead, updating traditional storylines and embracing new themes that are relevant to Millennials." "Frozen" was named the Best Animated Film and its hit song "Let it Go" won the Best Original Song Oscar.

Clearly the Oscars have become an event to watch, not only for the celebrities, glamour and the awards themselves -- but also, just like the Super Bowl, for the increasingly sophisticated techniques brands employ to reach their targets. Johnson finishes, "As a branding professional, this year's Oscars were exciting to watch. New ground was broken in an enjoyable and unobtrusive way. While everyday occurrences like pizza and selfies are hardly original, watching superstar celebrities partake during a formal and glamorous event was -- and was not only highly original but also genuinely endearing. A win all around for all involved so I'm certain that many will be taking notes."

About Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is CEO of branding firm Whitehorn Group. Mr. Johnson is a highly regarded authority on creating and managing celebrity and consumer brands, like Infiniti Motor Company and JetBlue Airways. He attended Carnegie Mellon University where he won the Tholenheimer Award and McCurdy Prize. He can be reached at (212) 537-9129, [email protected] or on Twitter, @Chris4Whitehorn.

About Whitehorn Group

Whitehorn is a premier brand strategy firm. They create what's NEW and NEXT through global branding, design, product innovation, political and celebrity brands, business strategy, global marketing and distribution. www.whitehorngroup.com

The following files are available for download:

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Hostway Services, Inc. and WSM International have partnered to deliver trouble free migration services for any organization that wishes to bring their IT infrastructure to Hostway's Azure managed cloud services. WSM is the leader in providing turn-key IT migration services since 2003 and is now the preferred provider to any Hostway customer that is seeking to move its computer infrastructure to the Hostway Azure-based cloud.
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
"We formed Formation several years ago to really address the need for bring complete modernization and software-defined storage to the more classic private cloud marketplace," stated Mark Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Formation Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Deploying applications in hybrid cloud environments is hard work. Your team spends most of the time maintaining your infrastructure, configuring dev/test and production environments, and deploying applications across environments – which can be both time consuming and error prone. But what if you could automate provisioning and deployment to deliver error free environments faster? What could you do with your free time?